Study in USA: Guide for International Students
There are many reasons that international students choose to study in the USA at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Over 1,000,000 students choose to further their education and broaden their life experience in the USA. Approximately 5% of all the students that study in the USA higher level of education are international students. Making the United States of America the largest international students population in the world.
However, academic excellence, support services for international students, variety of educational opportunities, advanced technology, and more are most of the reasons why students from foreign nations choose to study in the USA. But moving abroad is a huge decision as living and studying in another country can be very challenging.
Therefore, in this article, we provide information in detail on guidelines for international students who wish to study in the USA. Providing the basic steps you should follow, information on top US Universities, reasons to study in the United States of America, and other important information you need to know as an international student to study in the USA.
Study in the United States of America
The United States of America is one of the most popular destinations for not only international students who wish to pursue their academic study abroad. But also for citizens of foreign nations that want to broaden their life experience, most of them usually come for work. The United States of America is regarded as a powerhouse of international education and research because of its large education system.
Moreover, the United States has many private and public institutions of higher education approximately 4,500. All of the institutions offer world-class degree courses. The majority of the world’s top universities which are listed by various ranking organizations are in the United States of America. Furthermore, the USA is a very vast country and each state has its own unique culture, climate, economy, etc.
However, the country accepts over 1.1 million international students that wish to study in the USA to pursue their academics from one of the renowned universities of the world. The United States has 4 universities in the top 10 and occupies around 48 places in the top 100 global universities. Also, international students can study in the USA with financial aid i.e. international scholarships.
United States Universities are known to be highly generous in terms of offering financial aid to international students. These scholarships are offered to outstanding candidates in academics or otherwise. The international scholarships are categorized into merit-based and need-based.
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Cost of Living and Studying in the USA
However, the cost of living and studying in the United States isn’t going to be a small one. This is due to its popularity as the best destination for international study. Although the cost is worth it because you will be receiving high-quality education from the best universities. The United States is one of the most expensive countries for international students to pursue their academics.
Moreover, the cost of tuition in the US depends on your course of study or degree program. The average tuition fees for international students are around $30,000 per academic year, but you should budget around $5,000 and $70,000. Also, the tuition fee for postgraduate study programs usually costs more than that of undergraduate studies.
On the other hand, your living costs also depend on the area you choose to live and study. Living in a big city is likely going to cost you more than a smaller city. Just like we mentioned earlier, international students studying in the United States are offered financial aid. The universities in the US may award the student with an international scholarship to fund the entire study expenses fully or partially.
Why Study in the USA
However, we said earlier in this article that the United States of America is one of the best destinations for international students who are seeking to pursue their academic studies abroad. Although there’s the massive growth of other English-taught programs in other countries, several international students still prefer to study in the USA.
Moreover, universities in the United States are generally known for the quality of their research and teaching. But there are universities in other countries in the globe that are known for the same quality. Still, most international students choose to study in the USA, thereby making it the number one and most popular university destination for international studies.
However, some still wonder why so many international students choose to study in the USA. Therefore, we have outlined what the United States has to offer. Which are some of the reasons international students tend to always prefer US Universities for their international studies.
They are as follows:
1. Academic Excellence:
The fact that United States Universities continue to maintain the top spots among the best-ranked education institutions worldwide. However, this has to do with the high academic excellence and standards that these universities administer to their students. Moreover, the United States of America has one of the world’s finest and most versatile university systems with excellent programs in nearly all fields.
Furthermore, students are offered the opportunity to work directly with some of the great and exceptional minds in their specific field of study. Participating in exclusive research and other educational opportunities. Also, with the US Universities always changing and evolving their education systems, tends to attract international students across the globe. Administering degrees that are recognized throughout the globe for excellence so that the international students are well prepared to return to their home country and find excellent career opportunities.
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2. Study in USA Offers Diversity in Educational Opportunities:
However, there are several universities and colleges in the United States and almost every one of them diversifies itself in certain aspects. Therefore, the educational system in the country has a lot to offer to each student. The education system offers a variety of educational opportunities and builds cultural diversity as central to admission efforts.
Moreover, in most US colleges and universities each of their classes and dorms is full of international students from every nationality, ethnicity, or religion. Therefore, studying in the USA gives you access to contact with many cultural backgrounds and share perspectives and new ideas. Furthermore, studying in the US gives a thrilling experience by exposing you to not only the American culture but to the beliefs and languages of people from other cultures across the globe.
3. Outstanding Support Facilities:
United States Universities offer excellent support facilities in an endeavor to make the transition in studies smoother by making the best possible resources and equipment available to their students. The universities offer students access to utilizing CBTs (Computer-based tests), a variety of laboratories, and resources, giving them the most modern classroom experience possible.
Moreover, if the student’s field study is directly involved with science or engineering, there are also several workshops, orientations, English-language practice courses, and training for students to assist them to get ready for their classes.
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4. Support Services For International Students:
We have already said something about this particular benefit earlier in this article. Most universities in the country provide international students with financial aid to study in the USA. They offer international scholarships to academically outstanding and deserving candidates. Just like we mentioned, the scholarships are broadly classified into two main categories.
However, the categories are Merit-based scholarships which are awarded to students irrespective of their financial need. But rather based on excellence in the field of academics or non-academics such as athletic, artistic or special-interest merit. The ground for this award is formed by impressive GPA and test scores like SAT/ACT and TOEFL/IELTS.
While on the other hand, Need-based scholarships are awarded on the basis of the financial need of the exceptional students that come from a poor family background whose income isn’t sufficient to cover their educational expenses.
5. Study in the USA Provides Flexibility in Academics:
Studying in the United States of America offers an ideal academic environment for international students. This is specified by flexibility in methods of education and constant development process for the students in their various fields of study. For instance, liberal arts coursework for an undergraduate program will contain languages and mathematics as classes, but you will have a wide variety of classes and the freedom to decide which classes best match your interests.
Therefore, depending on your interests, strengths, and goals, the institutions shit their class structures and instructions methods to make learning relevant and also engaging to you.
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5 Steps to Study in the USA
Moreover, as a prospective international seeking to study in the USA. There are 5 basic steps you must follow and complete in order to achieve this. However, these steps are as follows:
1. Research Your University Options:
Firstly, you will have to research the variety of options available to you and how to find an institution that best suits your needs. This first step is often a complex task, you will need to research and know a lot of information in order to make a good choice. When doing this, you should find a university that matches and suits your priorities.
However, choosing the right institution can be a very extensive and exhausting process. But note that there’s no official ranking order for colleges and universities in the United States of America. The right institution is the one that suits you and your priorities or requirements such as academically, financially, and personally.
Moreover, you can contact an academic advising center in your country to assist you in finding study opportunities in the United States. Also, remember to verify if the US University of your preference is certified under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
2. Finance Your Studies:
Just like we mentioned earlier, the cost of living and studying in the US depends on the institution, your course of study, and the area you choose to live. Moreover, these costs of living and studying vary across the country. Although the United States can be an expensive country for international students to pursue their academic studies. This is due to its popularity as the best destination for international studies.
However, if you make a proper amount of research and planning, pursuing an academic study in the US can become very affordable. Furthermore, as an international student, you have access to certain funding sources such as exchange programs administered by the United States Government, scholarships and grants offered by international organizations, and even funding from your home country’s education authorities.
3. Complete Your Application to Study in the USA:
Now that you completed the research and planning of your study in the United States. The next step is to complete your application. This is where you find out and know the documents and requirements to apply for your US study program. You will have to contact the Office of Admissions at each school and apply for your preferred course of study.
However, you will get details about the requirements and application process when you make this contact. This step usually requires commitment as it takes time and concentration. Each application is different and the universities in the US establish their own specific admission requirements. It is advised that you take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), as it is required by most schools to ascertain the level of your English language skills.
4. Apply For Your Student Visa:
After applying for your preferred course of study at a US University, the next is to wait until the university makes its admission decision. Once your application has been accepted and offered admission to study in the USA. Your next step is to apply for a US student visa. Upon acceptance, the US University will send you a document known as the I-20 form.
However, you will the I-20 form during the US student visa application. You should be requesting for either the F, J, or M student visa types. Moreover, you can get more information about US visas and travel on the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States.
5. Prepare For Your Departure to the USA:
Now for the last but not the least step, preparing for your departure to the US. This final step is very essential as it involves making your travel documents arrangements and attending a pre-departure orientation at your local Education USA center or online.
In addition to the US student visa, the type of visa you apply for depends on the type of institution you will be studying at. However, you will need an F-1 student visa if you wish to study at a university. You will need an M-1 visa if you wish to study a course or program that is not mainly academic. As well as courses at a vocational institution such as a business school.
In conclusion, every country or study destination has its advantages and disadvantages and the United States is no exception. Therefore, as we are mentioning the benefits and reasons to study in the USA. There are also certain aspects about the country that might not favor you. But aside from that USA is one of the finest countries to be considered among the best destinations for international studies.